The UII girls were fortunate to spend the day with local author Sue Palmer who wrote her debut children’s book ‘May’s Moon’ 4 days before Tim Peake’s launch as the first British astronaut to go to the International Space Station. The girls had enjoyed reading the first chapter of the book during the Easter holidays which details Michael May’s first test in a neutral buoyancy pool with ten other children who have been accepted onto the ‘Children’s Moon Program’ in Florida to win a place on the next mission to the moon. Sue showed the girls her Moon globe and ‘Jim’ her model astronaut (which took 8 hours to build) in his ‘Extravehicular Mobility Unit’ (EMU) or space suit. The girls learnt about the order in which an astronaut gets dressed into their EMU including the essential ‘nappy’ for when they are outside of the Space Station.
Sue talked about the breakthroughs in Science that have been achieved by the astronauts experiments including growing rocket seeds from the International Space Station - the girls will be planting our own 'space seeds' soon. The girls very excitedly took a test of their own whereby they had to work in teams to put together a jigsaw using thick gloves. Several girls purchased books and had them personally signed by Sue.
Sue’s talk was incredibly informative and inspiring and hopefully will encourage the girls to continue to read ‘May’s Moon’ and to go on to study Science or Engineering or perhaps research to write a book of their own. Female astronaut Kate Rubins is due to join Tim Peake as a Mission Specialist studying allergies, maybe one day we will see an UII Abbey girl as next British astronaut to go into space!